The Impact of the German ‘DEAL’ on Competition in the Academic Publishing Market by Justus Haucap, Nima Moshgbar, Wolfgang Benedikt Schmal :: SSRN

Abstract:  The German DEAL agreements between German universities and research institutions on the one side and Springer Nature and Wiley on the other side facilitate easy open access publishing for researchers located in Germany. We use a dataset of all publications in chemistry from 2016 to 2020 and apply a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impact on eligible scientists’ choice of publication outlet. We find that even in the short period following the conclusion of these DEAL agreements, publication patterns in the field of chemistry have changed, as eligible researchers have increased their publications in Wiley and Springer Nature journals at the cost of other journals. From that two related competition concerns emerge: First, academic libraries may be, at least in the long run, left with fewer funds and incentives to subscribe to non-DEAL journals published by smaller publishers or to fund open access publications in these journals. Secondly, eligible authors may prefer to publish in journals included in the DEAL agreements, thereby giving DEAL journals a competitive advantage over non-DEAL journals in attracting good papers. Given the two-sided market nature of the academic journal market, these effects may both further spur the concentration process in this market.

 

Recent Findings Indicate that Country-Level Open Access Frameworks Are Likely to Increase Concentration in the Publishing Market | Open Research Community

By sampling data in the field of chemistry, the working paper by Haucap et al. (2021) suggests that the Project DEAL agreement between German universities and institutes and large international publishers, e.g., Springer Nature, is likely to contribute to their market power.

No agreement with Frontiers in Germany | scidecode

“As Bernhard Mittermaier, head of the central library of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, announced yesterday, there will be no agreement with Frontiers in Germany. The negotiations between the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Open Access Publisher Frontiers on a nationwide framework contract did not succeed….

The criticism on the planned agreement with the Open Access Publisher Frontiers in Germany stemmed from the fact that many German universities and universities of applied sciences have set up Open Access funds funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG) in its program Open Access Publizieren, which reimburse APCs in Gold Open Access Journals up to a maximum of €2000 gross. Many libraries regard this limit as a suitable means of not overburdening their Open Access budget and see it as an opportunity to slow down the price increase of APCs. Two examples of the criticism of the planned Frontiers agreement mentioned by Mr. Mittermaier can be found online, one by Thomas Krichl and one by Michael Wohlgemuth….”

 

No agreement with Frontiers in Germany | scidecode

“As Bernhard Mittermaier, head of the central library of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, announced yesterday, there will be no agreement with Frontiers in Germany. The negotiations between the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Open Access Publisher Frontiers on a nationwide framework contract did not succeed….

The criticism on the planned agreement with the Open Access Publisher Frontiers in Germany stemmed from the fact that many German universities and universities of applied sciences have set up Open Access funds funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG) in its program Open Access Publizieren, which reimburse APCs in Gold Open Access Journals up to a maximum of €2000 gross. Many libraries regard this limit as a suitable means of not overburdening their Open Access budget and see it as an opportunity to slow down the price increase of APCs. Two examples of the criticism of the planned Frontiers agreement mentioned by Mr. Mittermaier can be found online, one by Thomas Krichl and one by Michael Wohlgemuth….”

 

Open Access Transformation in Switzerland & Germany > ./scidecode

“Christian Gutknecht published an exciting posting on the Swiss EUR 57 million Elsevier deal in which he outlines the transformative Open Access agreement between Elsevier and swissuniversities. Since Germany has been trying for years to reach such a contract with Elsevier, it is worth comparing it with the two transformative contracts with Wiley and Springer Nature in Germany, which were reached and coordinated by Project DEAL. Both German agreements were discussed here before just as other transformative Open Access agreements. For those in a hurry: At the end of the posting there is a synopsis of the costs and Open Access components of the Open Access Transformation in Switzerland & Germany. At the very beginning I would like to thank Christian Gutknecht very much for sharing and discussing information that went into this posting….”

Open access publizieren dank DEAL-Vereinbarung | SpringerLink

From Google’s English:  “Dear readers,

Since the beginning of this year it has been even more worthwhile to publish your “originals”, “overviews”, “case reports” and “picture and case” articles in Der Ophthalmologe . In addition to the wide range of subscribers to the journal, which covers over 90% of all ophthalmologists working in Germany, you now also have the opportunity to publish your freely submitted work via the DEAL open access project.”

Open access publizieren dank DEAL-Vereinbarung | SpringerLink

From Google’s English:  “Dear readers,

Since the beginning of this year it has been even more worthwhile to publish your “originals”, “overviews”, “case reports” and “picture and case” articles in Der Ophthalmologe . In addition to the wide range of subscribers to the journal, which covers over 90% of all ophthalmologists working in Germany, you now also have the opportunity to publish your freely submitted work via the DEAL open access project.”

AI in Medicine, Covid-19 and Springer Nature’s Open Access Agreement

“Just at the right time, we are happy to announce Springer Nature’s Open Access Agreement (read more in the News section of the KI Journal): if you are a corresponding author affiliated with a German university or research institution, you are entitled to publish open access in our KI Journal with fees covered by the German DEAL agreement. This means everyone in the German AI research community can, from now on, publish open access in our KI Journal for free, with Scopus Index! …”

A DEAL for open access: The negotiations between the German DEAL project and publishers have global implications for academic publishing beyond just Germany: EMBO reports: Vol 19, No 6

“Impatience over the slow progress has been particularly strong in Germany, where universities and funding institutions have been at the vanguard of the OA movement. It eventually led to the DEAL project (https://www.projekt-deal.de/about-deal/) set up in 2014 by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany and led by the country’s Rectors’ Conference (HRK). A key objective was to establish national licensing agreements for the entire electronic portfolio from the large academic publishers. In addition, DEAL aims to further advance OA; one of its goals is to make all publications from corresponding authors of eligible institutions in Germany open access immediately upon publication, that being the publish part of its strategy. By the same token, DEAL institutions should have full access to the complete e?journal portfolio of the publisher—the read part of DEAL. Equally important, DEAL wants to establish fair article?processing fees to cover publication costs.

DEAL began negotiating with Elsevier late in 2016, followed by Springer Nature and Wiley in 2017. Negotiations proceeded relatively smoothly with Springer Nature and Wiley, according to DEAL. Both publishers accepted that the journals market was undergoing radical transformation and agreed to continue existing agreements on an interim basis with prices frozen in order to allow negotiations to conclude. A new DEAL licence is now expected to start during 2018.

However, agreement has not been reached yet with Elsevier, the biggest of the three, whose offers have so far failed to match the project’s goals, according to DEAL. For example, Elsevier would only offer green open access—that is, self?archiving in an open repository—in accordance with its own rules, which would mean that scientists would not have open access to the final, published version of their papers. Above all, Elsevier wants to keep the publish and read components separate, whereas a non?negotiable red line for DEAL was to integrate them in a single model, because they are entwined and determine overall access rights and costs….

There is an important aspect of DEAL not explicitly stated, which is that, although focused on Germany, it is global in ambition and scope….”

Open Access publizieren dank DEAL-Vereinbarung | SpringerLink

From Google’s English:  “From the beginning of this year it will be even more worthwhile to publish your original works, overviews and casuistics in “The Pathologist”. In addition to the wide reach in the magazine’s subscriber base, which reaches a large number of pathologists in Germany, you have also been able to publish your freely submitted works on the DEAL Open Access project since the beginning of the year . In the following we would like to inform you about its general conditions.”